ROBERT DICK & THOMAS BUCKNER – Flutes & Voices

Mutable

The protagonists need no foreword, such is the weight of their input in today’s music via the respective means of expression and utterly personal idioms. “In The Land Of Perfect Days” is originally epitomized by the acoustic similitude of the emissions during explorations of unclear cavities, before the discrepancies of the personalities ultimately emerge. “Bones Of The Tongue” mercilessly shows wounds, broken limbs and various impairments; the performers are repeatedly captured in revelatory moments of angst permeated by manifest irony, interspersed with stretches of contemplative stasis. “Broadcasted Alive” juxtaposes throaty fragmentation and bent pitches in the approach to a method that might appear to be led by electronics, yet it’s not. One enjoys the unlikely subtleties generated by the flute’s upper partials and Buckner’s “female” mourning, occasionally recalling atmospheres typical of Meredith Monk’s earlier work. “Certain Gravities” sees Dick as the engenderer of a mix of semi-synthetic squared figurations and pseudo-pastoral calls, Buckner intoning lines replete with his classic baritone powerfulness. “We Are The Walrus” is percussive, “rolling”, viscerally melodic, involving like an African ceremony of initiation. “The Bird On The Scene Says Yes” begins as the dialogue between a cartoonish character and a flute whose elasticity recalls that of an ocarina, ahead of becoming a “strictly contemporary” cross of lullaby and glissando. Dick’s own voice, also present elsewhere, is more in evidence throughout the rant-in-the-conduit of “Takeout Karma”, whereas the conclusive “Makemake” is set in motion by a merging of (virtual) plucked strings, droplets and assorted noises to evolve into chatter-and-mumble frenzy accompanied by an equally loquacious piccolo, a few instants of respite defining a piece typified – as everything else – by the strength of a mutual esteem.

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